Posted in Cat, Cats, Christmas, Kent Family, New Blogger, parent blogger, Uncategorized

We have a new addition to the family!

I haven’t written or a while life has just gone very manic, I’m officially now back to work 2 and a half days! Also still trying to catch up with the summer holiday’s. I need to write about our week in Lanzarote. But  Last weekend with all the manic going around we got a little addition to our family. We got Woody the kitten!

His so playful and active, Daisy isn’t too keen but Willow has taken him under her paw and is acting like mum!

He is certainly going to be a little character!

I have so much to write about with Christmas just around the corner and then its Easter where we are planning to be out of Kent for a good two weeks! We have already started to plan summer 2018 too! My aim for Summer 2018 is to spend as little as possible at home as its Bell’s last summer before she starts school!

So I will leave you with a few adorable pics of Woody whilst I update the blog…

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Flying with Children the ups and the Downs

We are flying high in the sky on route to Lanzarote for our family holiday. We started flying when Bear was 18 months I was pregnant with Bell and now we try and fly at least once a year. I love exploring the world and I certainly want the adventure and the experiences to grow with the children

Go back to last year flying back from Menorca, the flight was at midnight, all was fine until the plane started taxing to the runway, Bell decided she needed a wee. Which would of been fine expected we were not able to leave our seats, she had a pull up on as she was still in nappies at night. No she wasn’t happy about doing a wee in the nappy, she got louder and louder saying she needed a wee and crying. The poor passengers I felt really bad , but once the seatbelt sign came off we ran, she went and then she went to sleep! phew!

This got me thinking about others peoples experiences so I asked a few fellow bloggers about there “Up’s and there “Downs” of flying with or without children.

Lets Start with Jen from Just a average Jen say’s  Www.justaveragejen.com

“My boy on his first flight was almost 10 and as soon as we landed he shouted “that was awesome” everyone clapped it was.”

Nicola from Mummy to Dex say’s  – http://mummytodex.com

“Worst thing- we were flying back from Majorca (after a near perfect flight out there) with an 11m old baby and he was not coping well at all. I was trying to cuddle him and settle him down but he ended up sinking his teeth into my arm and leaving me with a very nasty bite mark, blood and bruise! Lesson learnt- daddy can hold him next time!!”

Sarah From Digital Motherhood say’s

“Best was last week when my daughter fell asleep when we got on the plane and didn’t wake up until we landed 😄 Worst was when she was 1 and would not sit still, stood up on my lap reached forward and slapped the bald head of the guy in front! I nearly died of embarrassment but luckily he laughed 😂 www.digitalmotherhood.com

Catherine from Battle Mum say’s

“The best was flying with our son before the age of 2 and him sleeping most of the way to the Canaries. The worst was on our way to New York last year and his nappy leaking (wet) half way across the Atlantic. We had to use my pillow for him to sit on. Thank God for spare sets of clothes! And thankfully his seat was dry before we landed.” http://battlemum.com

Tracey from Pack your Pjs say’s

“The funniest was on a flight to the US (the days before we had children). My husband was sitting across the aisle from me, next to a family with a toddler. I can see it now – as if it was slow motion – as she picked up his cup of orange juice and poured it over his head before her mother realised what was happening. I found it hilarious (still do!!)” www.packthepjs.com

Eileen from 2 nerds and a baby say’s

“Best thing – our 10 week old slept the whole way through a 3.5hr flight, having a bottle during take off and landing to help soothe his ears
Worst thing – as I made my way down the aisle full of drunken hen and stag parties I was stopped every few steps for people to tell me I was too young to have a child”
www.2nerdsandababy.com

Vikki from Family Travel with Ellie say’s

“We have been very lucky and almost all our flights have been enjoyable. Our best was when our son was invited into meet the captain having been so well behaved and chilled during turbulence. Our worst experience would be this one…Flying to Palma with our then 8 and 3 year old. And a stag do got on. They were appallingly behaved – shouting / swearing and groping the air stewardess. I made sure the children’s head phones were securely attached and turned up loud! and some of the other male passengers went and had a word with them. It was quite scary with young children there if I’m honest. They were taken by security when we landed.” www.familytravelwithellie.com

 

Laura from Life with baby kicks say’s

“Cheese vomit 🤢we fed my youngest cheese which he promptly threw up all over me.  I had no spare clothes and my cardi had lost a button so I basically had my bra on display the whole flight…..” lifewithbabykicks.com

 

Joanna from The Knights Tribe say’s

“On a flight back from America my son threw up over himself and me, i had just brought a Missouri hoody at the airport and all his clothes was in his suitcase  so i changed him into my new big cosy hoody and he vomited again down  it with 4 hours  till landing no more spare clothes.” Www.theknighttribe.co.uk

Natasha from Mummy and Moose say’s

“The worst was on the way to Majorca. Cabin crew spilt scorching hot coffee on my nephew. I was a good distance from him but his scream made me jump up from my seat (He was thankfully ok)” www.mummyandmoose.co.uk

Eva from Captain Bob Cat say’s

“My then 15 month old puked right after take off on a transatlantic flight. I had changing clothes for him, but I didn’t have any for myself… definitely taught me a lesson 🙈”
Www.captainbobcat.com

Luschka from Diary of a first child say’s

“The best was when I got on a flight to Australia on my own with a 3 year old in an Ergo and a 6 month old in a ring sling. People audibly groaned and sighed, rolled eyes and one couple actually said loudly “great, just what we need”. When we landed in Singapore 12 hours later, 6 different people came to me and said how well behaved my children were, how pleasant the flight with us was, and how attentive I was to my children.Feeling smug I got on the next, 5-hour, midnight flight… Where the same kids were now awake, bored, cooped up little terrors! That was a LONG flight, and no one talked to me after!”
Diaryofafirstchild.com

Kate from Katie on Thin Ice say’s

“My son aged about 11 sleeping through the take-off of his first flight”

And Finally from Francessa at Whinge whinge Wine

“The holiday started of with out incident, but as the holiday progressed everyone got poorly slowly a day or two in between, on the day of our flight my husband was still poorly and had a last minute trip to the toilet so I boarded the plan without him and let the stewardess know, there were lots of hush whispers and the plan was delayed and we were eventually asked to leave the flight, and my husband was whisked of to the hospital. I was asked to identify the bags. The doctor checked him over and said he was fit to fly. The plan took of an hour and a half later than expected, but nanny, the children and daddy were sick though out the flight and daddy was sick for two days after the holiday”

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Adventure, Days out, discover new bloggers, Family, family fun, Kent Family, parent blogger, Pepper pig, reviews, summer, summer holidays, Uncategorized

My Day Out At Drusilla’s Park In Sussex!

We have recently spent the day at Drusilla’s Park in Sussex, It took us about an hour and twenty minutes from where we live to get here. It started of a really gloomy over cast day, but it certainly brightened up nearer the end of our visit.

When we arrived the car park looked very busy, but once we were actually through the entrance the only busy bit was the first section which was the iguana and snake area. We then went around to the Farm Yard to see what happens down on the farm and Bell and Bear even had a go at milking a cow. (Okay it wasn’t a real cow but they certainly had great fun pretending to be farmers!)

 

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Milking a cow down on the Farmyard

 

We then followed the path around to see the other animals there is a lovely selection of animals here and their homes looked really well cared for. The animals which were our favourite were the Meerkats, penguins, the monkeys and Marmosets.

There is so much to see and do here whilst walking around the park for the children and of course the big kids (adults!) from the Zoo Challenge to the animal spotter book with a trail to follow. There is also a soft play (Amazon adventures) if the weather does take a turn for the worse and a huge outside play ground for all ages, and not forgetting the water play area which is called Get Wet!

 

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Go Wet! Yes my children are in their pants and knickers! At least they had plenty of fun!

 

There are also lots and lots of information and interactive areas dotted around the park which certainly keep the children entertained and learning new facts and information about the animals.

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We were very excited to be able to walk through the lemurs in Lemurland and walk through the Lorikeets in the Lory landing area.

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When we last came to Drusilla’s Hello Kitty secret garden was still being built, the rides in Hello Kitty last a couple of minutes which is ideal for little ones and Bell was able to go on a few of the rides by her self which is a bonus! The rides here are little teacups, ride round Hello Kitty’s Garden and 25ft Hopper ride. Did I mention this is the first Hello Kitty attraction in Europe, so if you have a Hello Kitty fan why not pop down and see the attraction for yourself and if your really lucky you maybe able to even give Hello Kitty a huge cuddle, during the holidays.

 

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Hello Kitty Secret Garden Car Ride – I let Bell drive!

 

One new area for 2017  is GO SAFARI! GO SAFARI opened in  This is now were the old water park area was, there are two rides here, flying cheater’s, a hippo which goes up and down . Both the children loved this area, and they wanted to go on the flying cheaters again and again!  Despite going during the school holidays the longest we had to wait to go on the rides was 2 minutes which was a  perfect waiting time for little children. Bear and Bell kept coming back to this area and also wanted one last go before we left for home and the one last go turned into about 6 lasts go as they were both having so much fun!

I almost forgot to mention there is also a GO Safari  African themed safari express train ride, where you can see a few animals and along the way you can also peek and see the play area and the water play area. Also there are jokes so do keep your eyes peeled and don’t forget to give everyone a wave as you go passed!

 

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African Themed Safari Train

 

 

There are also a few payable activities which are available to everyone which are panning for gold, Penguin plunge and vertical limit. There is also a discovery centre which has lots of information and we saw lots of animal fur and goods which were on lone from the HM revenue and customs.

There is so much going on through out the year as Drusilla’s is open 362 days of the year from 10am until 5pm in winter and until 6pm in summer, the last entry is one hour before closing but I would recommend a good 2 or 3 hours here if you would like to see and have a go in the play park and the Get Wet Area. You could easily spend all day here, as there are plenty of places to grab a bite to eat or a coffee.

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There is certainly lots to look forward to for the rest of the year here from meeting Peppa Pig, The Gruffalo, Paw Patrol and Meet Hello Kitty over this summer. And not forgetting Meet and Greet with Scooby doo over Halloween so don’t forget to bring your Scooby snacks and Father Christmas from the middle of November with Winter Wonderland Illuminations which is a daily light show at 4pm.

 

 

 

 

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Hever Castle Review

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We were lucky enough to Visit Hever Castle Over the Easter School Holiday’s. Hever Castle was once a childhood  home to Anne Boleyn,  who was wife to King Henry the 8th and mother to Elizabeth 1st.

The castle its self dates back to the 13th Century and has seen many changes though out the centuries with the changing of monarchy.

There are many beautiful Gardens around the castle and the moat, these were just modest gardens around the castle walls until  William Astor brought the castle in 1903 and they are now award winning gardens.

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April 18th – May 7th There is  Tulips Celebrations going on around the gardens there are 7,000 tulips currently in bloom. They look totally amazing, They are certainly worth popping down to see.

We loved having a wander around the gardens, we saw many wildlife including a black swan, only a small number of black swans are in the UK.  There is also a large boating lake which you will be able to take a small boat ride around the lake. If you do not fancy a boat ride there is a lovely lake walk. There is a mini model of the castle and I think other buildings in a section at the back of the shop, It was lovely to see but I did find it a bit dark to try and read but to be honest it could be my reaction lenses trying to adjust going from bright sunshine to indoor light.

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Over Easter Holiday’s the Castle had lots on for the children, they had a Easter Egg Hunt, Easter bonnet making and a Easter bonnet parade for the children to take part in. There is also a maze and a water maze for everyone to join in, there is also a play area too, which is in excellent condition. There is also Archery and shield painting  which runs from 1st April until the 29th October, and starts from £3.

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I felt the Easter Bonnet making was great value for money as it was just £1, Bear and Bell really enjoyed doing this, there was lots of choice from stickers, to crepe paper, to stencils and gems to decorate the bonnet. The member of staff running the area was very helpful and friendly. We unfortunately didn’t get time to check out the shield paining and Archery, but we will certainly have a go next time we visit!

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The Easter Egg hunt was in partnership with Lindt chocolate,  was also great fun, the clues were easy to find and the clues took you mostly around the garden area. The children enjoyed looking out for the clues and got really excited when they found them, at the end there was a lindt bunny at the end to take home.

We were also very lucky to met the King,  when we entered the castle, he was very friendly,  helpful and certainly made the castle seem more alive. The Castle was bright an you could have a lovely look at all the beautiful items on show, without the rooms feeling crowded. The staff were helpful and answered any questions Bear had. Going round the castle was very easy to follow unlike some places we have recently visited.

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We brought a picnic with us, there was plenty of space to sit down with a picnic blanket or there was plenty of benches to sit on if you prefer,  The shop had a great choice of gifts and there was a good selection of pocket money toys if your little ones fancy buying something tiny.

Even though we didn’t take a buggy, We are now out of that stage, I felt Hever castle is very buggy friendly around the ground, the buggy’s are not allowed in the castle so I do suggest you take a baby carrier or carry your little one round. The grounds are also wheelchair friendly but hilly in some places.  There are six different trail walks which you can download before you go via the webpage, –  Hever Castle Trails to Download

The views walking around the castle are very pretty and personally I think it would be a great visit all year round for all the family. The Children really enjoyed exploring the gardens and finding new places which they seemed to miss coming in.

The prices are very good £16.90 for a adult for both the castle and the grounds and £9.50 for children over 5 years old. Hever castle offers a discount for seniors and students. There is also a family price of £44.50. There is also a small shop where you can buy some plants and a little coffee van too!

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This is certainly a great value family day out for all the family, if you are not local there are a few places to stay near including Hever Castle its self.

Hever Castle has lots of events all year round so why not have a peek at their website for up to date information and prices.
Have a peek at my YouTube video too 

Posted in Family, family fun, Uncategorized

ChalkOla review

I hate the feel of chalk, it makes my teeth feel funny and the thought of the chalk being scratched along the chalkboard makes my skin tingle and feel very strange.

When I was ask to test out some chalk pens I jumped at the chance.

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To be honest I was a bit dubious about them, would they feel like chalk, would they have the chalky feel to them, the list was never ending!

When they arrived they came in really nice packaging and looked very smart, too smart for the children to use straight away, but they spied them and spent the next 5 minutes giving the pens a good shake to start the chalk flowing!

The chalk was lovely went on the chalk board with ease, the thicker pens started of a bit runny but nothing major.

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The markers were great too, very easy to use.

All of the packs have a great choice of colours, and I would recommend them for anyone who really dislikes the feel of chalk prices start from £8 on amazon.

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I would defiantly recommend these to anyone who uses chalk pens.

 

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Wordsearch Junior By Drumond Park Games

Wordsearch Junior is for ages 4 plus, it is a fun, family friendly for all ages. It encourages a fun way of learning and recognising words and the recognition of picture sequence. Wordsearch Junior comes with 9 double sided puzzle discs. The game also comes with 4 different packs of colour markers, so you can mark of when you have found the word or picture sequence.

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There are three different levels there are:

Blue – Search for the picture sequence, this is a great way to introduce children to the world of wordsearches. Its a great way for children to develop sequencing  and spatial awareness

Red – This level has pictures and the words on. Which helps children  start to recognises  what the words look like to the picture. They will be able to start looking for consonant clusters and vowel combinations without them realising,

Green – This level is just the words with the letters O,E,I,A,U in red so the children can learn that these ae the vowel letters.

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The game is very easy to set up, I  will have a little video on my YouTube channel on the set up of the game very soon, but it is very easy to do. You clip a Wordsearch of your choice onto the board and you spin the blue outer circle  to find new words to look for. once you have found the words you can put your colour marker over those letters. If another play has to cross your word they just swap your maker for theirs.

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This game is a all round fun and educational game. Wordsearch Junior will help support and develop reading and letter recognition for all children.  It also  provides a great way for the children to develop their reasoning skills, whilst enriching their vocabulary through images, words and letters.

The game retails at £18.99 and you can check where your nearest stockist is by visiting   http://www.drumondpark.com/index/index.php

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I personally would happily pay the £18.99 for this game as not only is it educational, it is also great fun for all the family. I would also recommend this game for any child who may be struggling with their reading and their language skills. Bear really enjoyed playing this with his aunt, uncle , his Great Uncle and his great Grandmother  at the weekend and with his friend during the half term.

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Travelling With Kids Guest Post By Ella Who Blogs At Ellamental Mama

Single mum travelling with Toddler

by Ella from Ellamental Mama

Before I had my son I used to travel lots – Africa, Asia, the Caribbean. The further away the better in my mind. I always thought I should do my crazy travels when I was young because people don’t travel like that with kids, right? Wrong. My family is pretty small – just me and my son (at the moment) – and it turns out that you can travel far and wide with a little one. Since my son was born he’s also been to Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Europe – he’s already made it to over 10 countries. Admittedly the vast majority of those were in the first two years when he was still basically free to fly. Now I have to pay for his flight seat the travels have got closer to home and less regular but I still do as much as I can manage.

My most adventurous trip was last year, just before my son turned two. I threw a bunch of lightweight clothes into a backpack and off we went, backpacking around South East Asia. Everyone thought I was mad for doing it. The main thing I was nervous about was if one of us got really sick – especially me. What on earth would happen to my son? I had papers with all my emergency contacts listed on them and insurance details and in every place we stayed I would lay them out in the room, “just incase”. Bar a couple of nasty injuries which I managed to grin and bear, we were a picture of health throughout the month.

Single parenting is often a story of extremes, taking a toddler backpacking as a single mum is one of the more extreme examples of my life. One day we were strolling along the beach taking in the sights and enjoying the sun shine. The next day it took two hours to get my son down to nap, I snuck into the hammock to rest and promptly broke the thing. Have you ever tried to transport a toddler, buggy, backpack and other random bits along the beach to a small boat so that you can get dumped in the middle of the sea to climb aboard the passing ferry so you can make it back to the mainland with one arm out of action? It’s not an easy task I can tell you. But when you have no choice you somehow make it.

You might be thinking I’m rich considering all the travels we have done but my approach is to do it as cheap as possible so that we can go on as many trips as possible. My budget for one month for the two of us travelling around was £1000. That included £500 for my flight and £500 for everything else. Admittedly in the end I overspent (it was all those exciting boat trips round the islands) but not by that much. This strict budget did mean staying in the cheapest places in town though.

I remember late one afternoon arriving in Krabi in the South of Thailand, we arrived just outside the town centre and walked the mile or so to the area with the cheap guest houses. We were in luck, I found us a room that smelled like an overflowing ashtray. At 5am the sounds of the nearby market traders setting up took over from the sounds that had been blaring out of the neighbouring nightclub all night long. Let’s just say we didn’t get much sleep that night. The next day – the rainiest of the trip – we went to what was termed “the most beautiful beach in Thailand”. My son fell down a huge hole and lost a shoe before we had even made it there. Needless to say the toddler learnt some good swear words that day. When we did finally arrive at the beach and the clouds parted I ended up spending most of the time chasing my son up and down the beach as he ran off at top speed. On days like that my only reprieve was to return to the room, turn on the shower and let him stand under a small drip of cold water for as long as it would entertain him so I could catch my breathe. Invariably when I popped my head round the door to check on him he would be trying to climb into the toilet but still, he was quiet and not running away from me at high speed so I was happy and he had water so he was more than happy.

The days weren’t all like that though, well if I’m really honest I think everyday had at least one moment of total mayhem like that in it, and some were just chaos from start to finish. But there were days that had nice moments in between. And let’s be honest “nice” is an understatement. We went snorkelling with tropical fish, swam through underwater caves, explored night markets, rode on tuk-tuks and visited temples. You might think some of these things are not possible with a toddler but as a single mum I’ve got used to doing things with my toddler or not at all and I’ve never been one for sitting still. My son had one of those inflatable water seats and a pair of goggles; I would snorkel whilst holding onto his inflatable while he kicked back and relaxed, when a really good fish came along I’d get him to dunk his head under so he could have a good look. He loved it. Nearly as much as the day we went kayaking around the islands and through mangroves. That was a big hit, especially the little cave with the ‘inside’ beach. Or what about the day we went to the elephant hospital and he got to “feed” the elephants – he was too scared to actually feed them but he clung to my leg as I did it and he loved watching them walk around. Sometimes the fun turned to chaos as it tends to with a toddler, like when we were enjoying watching the monkeys playing on the beach until my son decided to throw a handful of sand at one of them – that didn’t go down too well – monkeys can be seriously vicious when they are angry.

Now I look back on the photos – the ones where he’s balancing on the palms of my hands in an aqua blue sea with the sun blazing down – the smiles on both of our faces telling of the joy in that moment. Or the one where we are both sat at a street stall eating the most delicious food in Thailand. And I’m so glad I did it. More than that, I’m so proud I managed to get through it. There were times in those weeks as we travelled around when I thought I was going to lose the plot (mainly at midnight in a mosquito infested shack, with my son repeatedly jumping on my head at midnight and the exhaustion and claustrophobia was more intense than anything I’ve felt before) but now that those memories have faded a little what I remember most are the fun moments. He still reguaraly talks about the elephant that ate bananas and the fishes that bit his bottom in the waterfall. That trip pushed me to my limit but it also gave us both lifelong memories.

Posted in Explore the world, family fun, Travel Guest Post, Travel tips with children, Uncategorized

Travelling with kids guest post by Zoe who blogs at Chummy Mummy!

So the day has finally arrived.  Packing day.  We booked this holiday over 12 months ago, I’ve had that long to prepare and yet I feel totally un-prepared for the task before me.

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My stomach is turning at the thought of a 7 hour car journey with 3 children aged 10 and under, not to mention the packing for 5 people, an over night stay on a ferry (which requires separate packing), a picnic and two rucksacks.  The list goes on and my mind feels terrifyingly numb to it all.  More tea and cake, lots and lots of cake.

I find myself scurrying from room to room as my glowing and pregnant sister lies draped across my bed, chuckling.  The extremes of my control issues are presenting themselves in new and previously un-seen ways.  I begin by rolling every item to achieve maximum surface area to volume capacity and at the same time mindlessly count, count and count again (and yet still manage to be short 3 pairs of socks!)  At least someones getting entertained in the process.

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The day ends without me crying over something ridiculous and I even managed to cope well with the realisation that the car needs 2 new rear tyres before we can even set off tomorrow but for now I’m happy with the score:

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Lets see what tomorrow brings.

DAY TWO

Today the journey to Northern Ireland begins.  The picnic’s packed and so are the bags.  The need to be compulsive about where specific items are packed has got up and left, along with my calm, happy, holiday face.  I’m frantically packing last minute “just in case” items, in the hold all that’s supposed to be for the ferry sleep over.  I hope they don’t search it there’s all sorts of crap in there!

It’s 9.30am.  The calm before the storm.  Everything’s packed – I think (apart from those bastard socks!)

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Two hours in and all’s going well.  Nieve’s had a massive sleep and I’m feeling like super woman, I’m chilled.  The crazy Zoe has re-treated and super-mum has arrived with uber amounts of patience and a zen like feel to her persona.  There’s a good possibility that the next 2 hours will be hell, now that Nieve has slept so well, but I’m cool with it.  I can totally rock this car journey.  I CAN DO THIS!

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One hour later – We’ve stopped at Blaise Castle, which has an amazing play area and free parking!  The boys are loving the play area.  We’ve not even reached the north of England, let along northern Ireland and I’m already freezing.  I’m sat writing in my note book with a blanket wrapped round my shoulders.  Clearly I’ve lived in the South too long and I’m turning nesh.  We’re still at a holiday score of 1-0 to me and I’m taking full advantage of the kids being occupied and chilling out before we get back into the confines of the car.  Hopefully Nieve and the boys will relax now they’ve had a run around and burnt off some steam.  The boys are playing ninja warrior on the adventure playground.  I’m purposely looking the other way, other wise I’ll have to shout and I’m still being zen.  The car journey competition is working a treat too.  Hats off to Brad for sorting that bad boy out.

30 minutes later – We’re back in the car.  We’ve read 5 stories, Nieves nicked Darrell’s sweets and I’ve finally given in and given her the dodo (Nieve code for Dummy).  Dylan and Darrell are still working their way through the car game and all we’re getting at the moment is the odd gasp from the back seats a they spot something the other hasn’t.

Only two hours and forty eight minutes to go until we arrive at the ferry according to the sat nav.  The tablets are amazing.  I’ve decided electronic parenting is my new ethos in Northern Ireland.  Brad strikes again.  He downloaded a couple of films each to keep them happy.  I love that man.

We’re an hour ahead of schedule with a brewers fayre in our sites for dinner (with a play area!) hello wine o’clock!

OK so far everything’s been going just a little too well.  I’m re-reading my notes as I’m typing this up and thinking to myself.  You fool.  How could you have written this down and thought that in doing so you were safe.  Surely, as a parent you must realise by now, that in writing such things down you are in fact mocking the parenting gods and angering them into action.

It’s the eleventh hour!  We broke down 2 hours ago.  After mild smoke inhalation we’re off the hard shoulder and safely in a McDonald/Toys R’ Us car park in Birmingham.  There’s a flock of travellers on the car park being escorted by the police and the chavs are looking about disgusted like they’re the model citizens.  My little country bumpkins are taking it all in their stride and certainly blend in.  Nieve’s rocking her bright pink Doc McStuffins tracksuit complete with glitter writing and crazy car hair.  The mucky tomato sauce face finishes the ensemble ensuring she fits right in.  I don’t even reach for a wet wipe.  I’ve lost all motivation.  The zen super mum, of 11.30 am, has well and truly deserted me.  In her place is a strung out mess.  I’ve seen druggies, on a come down looking more zen but then with only an hour to get us back on the road and the AA guy no where in sight, I feel this overall look is justified.  We’re never going to make this ferry.  The kids are happily playing, I’ve forced a big tasty down (oh the hardship!) and I’m currently inhaling an apple pie to keep my strength up, vitamin C and all that jazz. Nieves just done a massive poo.  The boys are being total angels.  Under the circumstances I’m still rocking this shit or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.

The AA guys just arrived we’ve got exactly 54 minutes to get this show on the road or we’re getting a 2.30 am ferry instead and with 3 kids that is a no-go zone!  I’m watching as Brad nods both approving and thoughtful in equal measure.  He’s great with most things, cars do not fit this category and I know he has absolutely no idea what the guys saying.  Internally I’m screaming JUST FIX THE F**KING THING!  externally I coo at Nieve and play the choo choo chip game. God I feel like a psycho.

After what feels like a lifetime in McDonalds I decide a change of scenery’s in order. Toys R’ Us prepare yourselves we’re on our way.  The AA man is MIA having rushed off to get us a part.  35 minutes to go before we’re officially behind schedule and missing the ferry.  I hit Toys R’ Us and decide a parental update is in order and phone my mum.  Instead of the tears I expect I’m more terrified to discover that, on her answering the phone, my internal dialogue spills out and I hysterically sing “it’s the final countdown” to her down the phone.  She thinks it’s good news and shouts with happiness “are you on the road then?” (they’re supposed to be meeting us at the farmhouse in Ireland tomorrow)  “Don’t be ridiculous” I answer.  “I’ve hit hysteria and need you to talk me down.  I’m wandering round Toys R’ Us letting the kids play with all the display toys and hoping I don’t get asked to leave.”

It’s been 20 minutes, we’ve taken pictures of the kids with some of the toys like we’re visiting a local attraction and I’ve had multiple staff wander past me, supposedly on their way to do something, but giving me the eye all the same.  Time to leave.

I exit the shop to a blast of cleansing air.  The AA man’s still working on the car but I’ve accepted it.  Its the 2.30 am ferry.  It’s fine.  I CAN DO THIS!  I’m still not feeling zen but to hell with that.  I’m a strong, resourceful woman and we are going to enjoy this trip or so help me……………..The blessed AA man has done it!  They really are the 4th emergency service.  We’re back on the road and I can’t believe it.  We’re going to make it.  We’re actually going to get to sleep on the boat.  We’ve been on the road now for 9 hours but we’re actually going to do it!  The kids are quietly ecstatic and are still being amazing.  I can’t believe how lucky I am that they ‘re not being total shits.

Three Hours Later – We’ve made it!  We’re on board.  I’ve got a tea, Brads savouring a well earned cider.  Nieves slept a total of 4 hours today and is currently having a mad hour running round the play area.  The boys are also burning off some steam and are wrestling as they slide down the padded ramp of the play area.  I don’t care.  I’m sitting with my back to them so I can feign ignorance if anyone complains.  They’re happy and after being total legends in the car they totally deserve this time.  They’re so excited about sleeping on a boat especially as they both get to be on the top bunks (there’s no way me or Brad is trying to climb up there!) No ones mythering me or shouting mum.  It’s total bliss.  The cabin is basic and clean.  I’m so exhausted after 12 hours travelling it feels like a palace.

I’m not keeping score anymore the holiday can kiss my ultra zen ass.  It may have won the journey but I will win the WAR……………holiday I totally meant holiday.

 

Posted in Adventure, Explore the world, Family, Travel Guest Post, Travel tips with children, Uncategorized

Travelling with Kids Guest post by Amy who blogs at Eps and Amy!

Hi, I’m Amy from Eps and Amy blog (www.epsandamy.co.uk), which covered bargain sales, product reviews and lifestyle/family blogging.I have 2 children aged 5 and 8 (although the photos attached are from previous car journeys too) and we do lots of family holidays and travelling.

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Last year we headed to the south of France, if you do the journey all in one go it would take about 12 hours, so we decided to split the journey and stay at various euro camp sites on the way down.  We left home at 3am and got a 5am ferry across from Dover.

I always recommend this, the kids happily sleep until you get to the port and then have breakfast on the ferry to occupy the time.  We reached Disney in time for opening and although the adults were tired we had an amazing day. We stayed a few days in Disney, check out my post on Disney hints and tips (https://epsandamy.co.uk/2016/11/30/Disney-tips-guest-blog/) then moved on to a euro camp park a 3 hour drive away, we stayed 10 days at this park, then faced a 6 hour drive down to the south of France, stayed there 6 nights then had the journey home, 5 hours one day over night in Burgundy then 6 hours the next day.

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So lots of driving, but I have some good tips to make the journey a lot less painful: * if you can journey early or late so your kids sleep in the car

* pack lots of food, snack stuff like pretzels and fruit strings.

* avoid sweets or chocolate, they are very sticky when dropped and the kids will feel sick after a handful

* take colouring or puzzle books, and drip feed to the kids only when they are seriously cranky

* invest in kids headphones; they are volume limited so won’t deafen themselves and you won’t have to listen to the iPad

* fill the iPads with TV episodes, avoid films, kids get board of films so quickly

* I highly recommend these in car sets for kids: https://usborne.com/browse-books/catalogue/product/1/2944/100-things-for-little-children-to-do-on-a-journey suitable from aged 3-10 ish

* when the kids start getting fractious stop the car for a bit, especially if you can find somewhere with a play area! But if the kids are quiet or asleep keep driving, get as many miles done as possible when you can.

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I hope some of these tips can help you, we have had some very easy journeys with the children.

Amy’s holiday in the South of France sound’s amazing and she has some lovely tips to help during a long car journey! I will certainly be using some of these tips next time we go on a long car journey adventure! Thank You Amy!

Posted in Uncategorized

he manic few weeks!

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The last few weeks have been totally manic, I have worked full time for the last two weeks, I am still blogging, lots of half done posts.

The reason everything is half done is because my phone broke and I lost all my photos and videos.

I am also working on becoming a self employed child carer. I am currently a self employed Nanny/Babysitter. But as a mum to two I am now looking to spread my wings into offering advice and help mums and dad’s get routine to their lives, to help with all aspects of Weaning/sleeping/potty training.

I may not be every parents ideal child carer as I am a pretty laid back mum, but this would be my dream job. I am currently doing lots of free courses on open university and updating my knowledge.

There will be a added section in my blog soon full of parenting tips and tricks which I hope will help expand into my new business venture.

What do you find works with your own children?

By the way the feature photo is just to get your attention!